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Sharon Baker, the "Crazy Goat Lady," is making a difference.

“Crazy Goat Lady” in Excelsior Springs making a difference for families around the world

A retired woman in Excelsior Springs, Mo., doesn’t mind being known as the Crazy Goat Lady. Sharon Baker has helped dozens of families around the world over the past decade.

Her vision began in 2013 when her pastor at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Raytown asked her Sunday school class to raise money to buy a goat for a family in need. At the time it cost $75, but now it’s $85 to get a goat. “It took us a full month-and-a-half to get the first goat,” she said. “By the end of the year we had 56 goats.”

She nearly stopped after that but said she thought about hungry kids in other countries who needed a hand up. Now, 10 years later, Baker has raised enough money to buy more than 1,000 goats for families all over the world: Africa, Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe.

Her pastor came up with the goat initiative through World Vision, which works to save children from hunger. Its top priority, however, is to provide families with clean water. “The goat keeps a child from being hungry,” Baker told News Nation. “It’s a hand up instead of a hand out for the family and they’re able to become viable.

The goats at Dreamer’s Farm in Excelsior Springs aren’t donated to families; Baker just works with them locally, taking them into schools and churches to raise interest in her mission. Instead, World Vision buys goats from a local farmer where a family in need lives, such as Ethiopia. Each family gets one male and three females. “With that small herd, that family can have extra milk, because goats produce 16 cups a day for 10 years,” she said.

READ: KC-based nonprofit brings water to 60 million people

Families can drink the goat’s milk and use it to make cheese and yogurt, which they can sell at their local marketplace and make a profit. Many use their earnings to purchase medicine, clothes, school supplies or whatever they need to survive. Female goats can give birth up to twice a year, which means a single family can grow their herd from four to at least 10 within 12 months. Goats also provide families with fertilizer for their gardens and eat noxious weeds, helping keep snakes away.

Baker has partnered with Jasper’s Italian Restaurant in Kansas City to make more people aware of her mission. The plan is to get even more local businesses involved to make a difference in the world. Baker’s next goal is to raise enough money to provide 2,000 goats to families in other countries.

For more information or make a donation, visit World Vision.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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